Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vermont Maple Walnut Bacon Cheddar Cheesecake





Vermont Maple Walnut Bacon Cheddar Cheesecake
Crust:
2 cups ground rice chex cereal
4 TBS brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped crisp bacon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 TBS bacon grease
3 TBS Vermont Maple Syrup
2 TBS butter, melted

Cheesecake filling:
2 (8 ozs) packages of cream cheese
16 ozs ricotta cheese (whole milk)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (one block) ( I used Cabot Alpine Cheddar)
3/4 cups sour cream
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS flour

Glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cups Vermont maple syrup

Topping:
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup chopped crisp bacon
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup dark chocolate

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10 inch spring form pan  (bottom and around sides)
2.  In large bowl add ingredients to crust.  With fork mix well to incorporate well.  Spread mixture into pan evenly across bottom and along sides, pressing firm.  Bake in oven 10 mins.  Remove
3.  In food processor or large bowl with electric mixer, add cheeses.  Pulse or mix well until fully blended.  Add sugar, eggs and cream.  Mix well.  Add vanilla and flour, Mix.  Scrap sides to make sure everything gets mix together.  Pour into spring form pan on top of crust. 
4.  Bake in oven on middle rack for approx. 55-60 mins.  Place an oven safe dish filled with water on bottom shelf.  This will help keep moisture in oven and prevent cake from cracking.
You can stick a toothpick in center of cake to see if it is done.  Toothpick should come out clean,  not wet. 
5.  When cake is done shut off oven.  Let cake sit in oven with door cracked for 1 hour.  Remove and let cool completely.  Refrigerate for few hours, or overnight before serving.  Remove side of spring form pan.
6.  To make glaze:  In medium size pan over med/high heat add cream and syrup.  Let boil.  Stir and continue to boil for 15 mins.  Add nuts, stir.  Add glaze to top of cheesecake. 
7.  To make chocolate glaze:  Melt chocolate in microwavable bowl.  Heat for approx. 1 min.  Remove and stir well.  Add 1 TBS bacon grease, stir.  Drizzle over cheesecake.
8.  Drizzle sour cream.  Sprinkle bacon crumbles and chopped walnuts.

Note:  I add my glaze and sour cream in little squirt bottle.  Then I squeeze across cake.

Serves 12



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sleetball Cookies




These are my Sleetball Cookies.  When I think of winter, I think about the ,sometimes dry, wintery mix of sleet and snow, we used to get, up North in Connecticut.  Because of our State being well prepared for winter, our roads were always cared for, in a timely manor.  Trucks would plow and salt the roads to make driving more safe.  I created this fun recipe in remembrance from my past.  The cookie is dry representing our dry cold snow.  Makes for a great coffee cookie.  They are dipped into melted chocolate representing the muddy mess that would accumulate.  Then cookies are sprinkled with sea salt and sprinkled with a dusting of powdered sugar.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
 
2 cups flour ( I use my gluten free blend)
1/4 cup sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups walnuts, chopped fine
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate morsels
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
 
 
 
Directions: 
 
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  In large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, butter, walnuts and vanilla.  Mix well until completely combined.  Roll about 1 tsp size ball.  Place on slightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for approx. 18-20 mins.  Let cool
3.  Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 30 sec intervals, stirring in between until chocolate is melted.
4.  Dip top of cookies into chocolate, only a few at a time, then place on clean wax paper.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Dip remaining cookies.  Make sure to sprinkle sea salt before chocolate sets.
5.  When chocolate cools and sets sprinkle powdered sugar over top of cookies.
 
Makes approx. 45

Sea Salt Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies


1 cup sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 ozs cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup caramel sauce, room temperature
8 ozs dark chocolate morsels, melted
1/4 cup sea salt

Directions:

1.  In mixer cream together sugar, vanilla, butter and cream cheese for approx 2 mins with mixing whisk, or use hand mixer.
2.  Add flour and salt.  Mix well to incorporate. Approx 1-2 mins
3.  Remove from mixing bowl.  Knead for 2 mins.  Shape into roll, approx 2 inches wide.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 mins.  Dough can be refrigerated overnight.
4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease large cookie sheet.  Slice dough approx. 1/8 - 1/4 thick.  Bake 10-12 mins.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Repeat process for remaining dough.
5.  Place cookies on wax paper.  Drizzle caramel sauce over top of cookie.
6.  Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl in microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between.  Drizzle over top of caramel.  Quickly sprinkle sea salt on top of chocolate before chocolate starts to set.  Let toppings set before stacking to serve or wrap.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eggnog Pudding and Fresh Fruit



Ingredients:

2 cups eggnog
3 oz box vanilla pudding (cook and serve)
2 cups each: sliced banana, strawberries and blackberries
1 cup whipped cream
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1.  In large microwave bowl add pudding mix and eggnog.  Cook on high for 6 mins, stirring every 2 mins.  Chill or 2 hours or serve warm
2.  Add assorted fruit into 8 individual bowls (3/4 cup of fruit)
3.  Top fruit with eggnog pudding (4 TBS)
4.  Add whipped cream (approx 2 TBS)
5.  Drizzle with caramel sauce (approx 1 TBS)
6.  Sprinkle with approx. 1/2 TBS walnuts

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Waffle Cheese Danish




Ingredients:

10 Blueberry Eggo Waffles
8 ozs cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 TBS water


Directions:

1.  Toast waffles according to directions on box.  Remove from toaster.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In medium size mixing bowl add cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon zest and salt.  Mix well until smooth.
3.  Spoon approx 2 heaping tablespoons into center of waffles.  Spread with spoon to cover top of waffles almost to edge.  Leave about 1/2 inch from edge.
4.  Place waffles on large sheet pan.  Bake in oven for 15 mins.  Remove and cool.  (approx 30 mins)
5.  Mix all ingredients for glaze.  When danish is cool drizzle glaze icing over top.  Serve. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Almond crusted Tilapia with Fennel Sauce



Ingredients for Fish:

4 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 lbs Tilapia (or Cod)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp course pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup almond, ground
1 lemon, zested and juiced



Ingredients for Sauce:

2 TBS olive oil
4 TBS butter
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
1/2 cup fennel stalk, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup anise flavored liqueur    
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 TBS parsley, chopped (plus extra for topping)
2 TBS fennel leaves, for garnish


Directions:

1.  Preheat broiler.  Brush Tilapia with oil.  Season Tilapia with salt and pepper.  Top with ground almonds.  Place in greased baking dish almond side up.  Broil for approx 8-10 mins or until done.  Add lemon juice after removing from broiler.
2.  Meanwhile on stove top, heat skillet with oil and butter.  Add shallots, fennel, red bell peppers and garlic.  Saute until soft. Approx. 10 mins.
3.  Deglaze pan with wine and liqueur.  Stir.
4.  Add cream, stir.  Let simmer and thicken in sauce
5.  Add lemon zest and parsley, stir.
6.  Serve sauce on top of Tilapia.  Garnish with fennel leaves.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Folded Crepe Potato Cheddar Pierogies with Caramelized Onions in a Lemon Butter Sauce



1/2 lb bacon or pancetta, fried broken into pieces

Ingredients for Crepes:
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/8 tsp salt


Ingredients for Filling:
1 1/2 cups leftover garlic mashed potatoes, seasoned (room temperature)
1/4 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 TBS parsley, fresh chopped (plus extra for garnish)

Ingredients for onions:
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 TBS brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp course black pepper

Ingredients for Sauce:
2 sticks butter, melted
1 lemon, zest and juiced

Directions:
1.  Fry bacon, drain on paper towels and cover until ready to use.
2.  To make crepes:  In large bowl whisk together all ingredients.  Heat a small (5-6 inch) round non stick pan on medium heat.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into pan and swirl around pan to thin out.  Cook crepe for approx. 1 min.  Flip onto sheet of wax paper.  Repeat process for each crepe.  Makes about 8 crepes.
3.  Filling:  In separate bowl mix together filling ingredients.  Put aside until ready to use.
4.  To assemble pierogies:  Add about 2/3 TBS filling in center of each crepe.  Fold two sides over and then the two ends, completely enclosing pierogi.  Place folded end down into greased baking dish.  Repeat process for remaining pierogies.  Bake in over at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins.
5.  Onions:  In same non stick pan used to make crepes, add oil and butter.  Heat on medium until butter is melted.  Add onions, sauté until soft.  Add brown sugar and vinegar.  Heat until sugar is dissolved.  Season with salt and pepper.
6.  Sauce:  In small saucepan heat butter to melt.  Add lemon zest and juice, stir.  Serve over top of pierogies with caramelized onion,  crushed bacon and fresh parsley.

Makes 8 pierogies
Serves 4

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Habanero Cheddar Potato Broccoli Bake


Ingredients:

6 medium size red skin potatoes, washed and sliced approx. 1/4 inch rounds.
1/4 lb pancetta, fried and chopped
4 TBS butter, plus 4 TBS for topping
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
2 cups half and half, warm (I warm in microwave)
8 ozs habanero cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ozs sharp aged cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
4 cups broccoli florets, fresh (cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
salt and crushed black pepper, to taste
Directions:

1.  Add sliced potato rounds to large pot or skillet of salted water.  Boil on high heat for approx. 10 minutes or until starts to soften.  Drain and put aside
2.  In same skillet sauté pancetta until slightly crispy on both sides (approx. 3 mins each side) remove and put aside.
3.  To skillet add 4 TBS butter, garlic and onions.  Saute for 5 mins.  Stir.
4.  Add warm half and half and all cheeses.  Stir until well combined. 
5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6.  Spray large baking casserole dish with cooking spray.
7.  Layer potatoes across bottom and then broccoli.  Season well with salt and pepper between each layer.  Repeat adding layers with potatoes and broccoli.
8.  Pour cheese mixture over top then chopped pancetta.  Top with bread crumbs.
9.  Bake in oven for approx. 40 minutes, covered lightly with foil.  Remove foil halfway through baking. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Potachio Cheddar Cupcakes


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour (I use my gluten free blend)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
5 TBS melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed potatoes, room temperature
1 lime, juiced (reserve zest)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Use a good sharp cheese)
1/2 cup cilantro (reserve 1 TBS for frosting)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup pistachio

Frosting:
4 ozs mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
4 TBS leftover mashed potatoes, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
1 lime, zest only
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped for topping

Gluten Free Flour Blend:
4 cups Rice Flour
1 1/3 cup potato starch or corn starch
2/3 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
Directions:  Blend all ingredients well.  Store in air tight container.

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12 ct cupcake tray with papers.  Lightly grease papers with cooking spray.
2.  In medium size bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir and put aside
3.  In larger bowl cream together sugar and butter.  Add eggs, milk, potatoes, lime juice and cheese.  Whisk to blend.
4.  Add dry ingredients to wet.  Fold to blend.
5.  In medium size food processor add cilantro and vanilla.  Puree.  Put aside 1 TBS for frosting
6.  Add pistachios to processor, puree to make paste.  Add to mixture.  Fold to blend.
7.  Fill paper liners approx. 1/3 of the way.  Bake for 10-12 mins. or until done.  Poke toothpick or knife through center of cupcake to check if done.  If comes out wet continue to bake.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
8.  Frosting:  In large bowl add (room temperature) mascarpone cheese, butter, potatoes, cheddar and vanilla. Whisk.  Add powdered sugar and lime zest.  Whisk or fold with large spoon to blend.  Then add puree.  Fold gentle but do not completely combine.  You want to create a two-tone effect for piping. 
9.  Frost cupcakes by using pastry bag or just spread with frosting knife.  Sprinkle pistachios on top.
Makes 12 cupcakes.











Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Crusted Pistachio Chicken with Potato and Zucchini Waffle Slidders






Ingredients:
1/2 cup mashed potatoes (leftover)
2 large eggs, beaten
3 TBS brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups zucchini, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups potato flour
1 cup ground oats
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tart apple, sliced into thin rings

Chicken Ingredients:

2 large chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise and then again cut opposite directions (making 8 sliders)
1 cup potato flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup ground pistachios
1 lime, zested (reserve juice)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp course black pepper
1 cup cooking oil.


Brie Aioli:

5 ozs cream brie, softened
3 TBS mayonnaise
2 TBS fresh chopped parsley
1 TBS lime juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp course black pepper



Directions:
1.  Plug in a waffle iron.  I use one that makes round waffles that can be cut into quarters.
2.  In large bowl mix together potatoes, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, zucchini and parsley. Stir
3.  In separate bowl blend together potato flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
4.  Make waffles according to directions.  Break waffles into quarter pieces for slidders.  Put aside.
5.  Chicken:  Heat oil in large saute pan.  Set up dredging station by placing flour in a bowl.  Beat eggs and place in separate bowl.  Place pistachios in third bowl. Add salt, pepper and lime zest to pistachios.
6.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Dredge chicken into flour, then into egg, then into pistachio mixture.  Coat both sides.  Place chicken into hot oil.  Saute on med/high heat until brown.  Flip and saute remaining side until brown.  Approx. 5 mins on each side.
7.  Remove from pan and place on paper towels, cover to keep warm.  Repeat process for remaining chicken.
8.  Aioli:  In medium size bowl add all ingredients, stir well.
9.  Assemble waffle slidders by adding a piece of chicken to quarter of the waffle.  Add apple slice and dollop of brie aioli.  Top with another quarter piece of waffle.

Makes 8 slidders


Corned Beef and Sauerkraut Potato Salad


This is my Corned Beef and Sauerkraut Potato Salad.  Seasoned with pickling spices and tangy Thousand Island Dressing, tossed with chucks of Swiss Cheese and Red Potatoes.  Smok'in in crispy bacon for a satisfying and comfort pleasure.

This recipe is too yummy to pass up. 
You can use leftover corned beef or deli corned beef.
Ingredients:
2 lbs red potatoes.  Cubed, cooked until soft then drained
12 ounces bacon.  Sautéed, removed from pan (reserve 1/4 cup bacon fat)
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp pickling spice
3 TBS cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar (or according to taste)
14.5 ounce can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 lb corned beef, cubed
1/4 cup Thousand Island Dressing
1 lb Swiss cheese, cubed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper, or to taste
Directions:
1.  Cook potatoes in large pot until soft, drain.
2.  In large non stick skillet over med/high heat sauté bacon until crispy on both sides.  Remove from skillet.  Cover until ready to use.  Remove all but 1/4 cup bacon fat from skillet.
3.  Add onion to skillet.  Stir.  Sautee until soft.  Approx. 5-7 mins.
4.  Add garlic and pickling spice.  Stir.  Sautee for 2-3 mins.
5.  Add vinegar and sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Approx. 2 mins
6.  Add sauerkraut, corned beef and dressing.  Stir to combine. 
7.  Toss in Swiss Cheese and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve  warm
Makes approx. 5-6 servings


Zydeco Coconut Potato Soup with Grilled Cajun Shrimp



 

12 ozs bacon, fried
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup bell peppers, chopped (assorted colors)
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
5 med red potatoes, cubed small
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/4 cup white wine
1 stick butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 can coconut cream
5 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp course black pepper
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined



Directions:

1.  In large skillet on medium heat saute bacon.  When crispy, remove and cover to keep warm.
2.  In same skillet using bacon grease add celery, onions, peppers, parsnip and potatoes.  Saute until veggies become soft. (approx. 15 mins).  Add garlic and corn.  Saute for additional 5 mins.
3.  Deglaze pan with wine, stir and cook out for 5 mins.  Lower temperature if too high.
4.  Add butter, let melt.  Stir.  Add chicken broth and coconut cream, stir.  Add thyme, parsley, cayenne pepper and paprika.  Let simmer med/low bringing back up to temperature.
5.  Add cheddar cheese, stir.  Turn temperature down to low and simmer until cheese melts. Approx. for 5 mins.
6.   In large bowl add shrimp, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp paprika and 2 TBS olive oil.  Toss.  Grill shrimp on non stick skillet or pan grill until done.  Approx. 3-4 mins per side.  Remove.
7.  Taste soup, season with salt and pepper to liking.  Make sure all veggies are soft.
8.  Serve soup with grilled shrimp.  Garnish with additional herbs and/or fresh peppers.

Serves 4-6


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wild, Wild Southern Fried Green Tomatoes and Chicken Livers with Balsamic Vidalia Onions


Wild, Wild Southern Fried Green Tomatoes and Chicken Livers with Balsamic Vidalia Onions

Get a taste of the wild side.  Go down South for that Southern inspired great tastes of one great meal.  Crispy fried chicken livers and fried green tomatoes coupled with creamy avocado and sweet balsamic vadalia onion.  Can be served as a main entry or sandwich.


2 large fresh green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 lb chicken livers, drained well
1 avocado, sliced
2 cups fresh spinach, cut julienne style
fry oil

Batter recipe:
2 cups flour, plus 2 cups in separate bowl
1/4 cup A1 sauce
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh course pepper



Balsamic Onion Recipe:
1 large onion, slice into rings
2 TBS butter
2 TBS cooking oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 TBS white sugar
2 TBS A1 sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh course pepper

Directions:

1.  Heat oil in deep fryer.  To see if oil is ready drop batter into hot oil.  It should sizzle.
2.  Mix all ingredients for batter in medium size bowl. 
3.  Season tomatoes slices and chicken livers with salt and pepper.
4.  Drop sliced tomato into batter, flip to cover both sides. Then into bowl of plain flour.  Cover completely.  Drop into hot oil.  Should only take approx. 30 second to brown.  Remove and place on sheet of paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Repeat process for remaining slices.
5.  Follow same process for chicken livers.
6.  For Onions:  In medium size pan add butter and oil on medium heat.  Add onions, sauté until almost soft.  Add balsamic vinegar, sugar and A1, and reduce down until thickens.
7.  Serve chicken livers on top of fried green tomatoes.  Spoon onions and balsamic on top.  Sprinkle with spinach and slices of avocado.  Season well with sea salt and fresh black pepper.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cayenne Cherry Chocolate Steak Sauce


1 flank steak, approx. 3-4 lbs
1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dark beer
2 TBS anchovy paste
2 TBS tomato paste
1/4 cup A1 sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp course black pepper
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped fine

Directions:

1.  Heat grill.  Grease with non stick spray
2.  In double boiler add chocolate and melt on low heat.  Stir until completely melted.
3.  Add mayo.  Stir to combine. 
4.  Add beer.  Stir to combine.
5.  Add all other ingredients, except cherries.  Stir and heat for approx. 3-5 mins.  Sauce should be semi thick.
6.  Take 1/2 of the sauce and brush both sides of steak.  Grill for 4-5 mins. on both sides.
7.  Add chopped cherries to remaining sauce.  Serve with sliced meat.

Planet Earth Turkey Burgers





Ingredients for burgers:
8 slices Arnold Potato Bread, toasted
1 lb turkey, ground
1 lemon, juiced and zest
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
4 ozs feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp course black pepper
1 small avocado, sliced
1 cup fresh spinach

Pesto recipe:
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cashews
2 cloves garlic
4 TBS olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp course black pepper

Directions:
1.  Toast bread, put aside
2.  Take remaining ingredients and add to medium size mixing bowl.  Blend well incorporating all ingredients.  Mold into 4 patties.
3.  Grill or pan fry on both sides until done.  If you pan fry, spray non stick pan with cooking spray before adding burgers.  Grill or cook for approx. 4-5 mins on each side.
4.  Add burger to toasted bread.  Top with sliced avocado, spinach and pesto to your liking.

Directions for pesto:
1.  Add all ingredients to medium size food processor.  Blender works well also.  Puree until fully blended. 







Makes 4 burgers

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bahh, Bahh Burger with Hummus



Burger Ingredients:

1 lb lamb, ground
8 ozs mushrooms, chopped fine
4 ozs feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 lemon, juiced (reserve zest)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed course black pepper
2 cups fresh arugula
1 cup sliced cucumbers
4 whole wheat buns, toasted


Sauce Ingredients:

1 can chick peas, pureed
1 TBS lemon zest
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1 TBS mint jelly
2 TBS mango jelly (apricot or peach works also)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed course black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, for topping

Directions:

1.  In medium size bowl add ground lamb, mushrooms, feta, mint, cilantro, scallions, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Mix well by folding.  Mold into 4 burgers.  Grill or pan fry until done.  Approx. 4-5 mins. on each side, or to desired likeness.  Serve on toasted buns.
2. Sauce:  Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Top with cilantro.  Serve on top of burger.
3.  Add fresh sliced cucumbers and arugula to burger.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Butterball Cookies





Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS vanilla
2  cups flour (I use my gluten free blend)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Directions:

1.  In medium size bowl add butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Cream together until blended well.
2.  Add flour and salt to bowl, stir and blend well.  Then add nuts.
     (mixture should not be dry but able to roll into ball.
3.  Form into large ball.  wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
4.  Roll into 1 inch balls.  Place onto cookie sheet approx. 1 inch apart.
5.  Bake 375 10-12 mins.  (This is for gluten free dough).  DO NOT over bake. 
6.  Let cool and roll into extra powdered sugar.

Note:  For wheat dough bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins.  Do not over bake.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bacon Cheddar Cherry Tarts




Dough:
2 1/2 cups flour (I use my gluten free flour blend) (see recipe below)
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBS Door Country Mustard
1 tsp salt
2 sticks cold butter (cut into 1 TBS pieces)
7 TBS ice cold water

Directions:
1.  Add all ingredients for dough into food processor.  Pulse until all incorporated and forms a ball.
Remove and place on flour surface.  Roll between 1/8 and 1/4 inch.  With approx. 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut into 12 rings.  Place each ring into well of cupcake tin, sprayed with cooking spray.



Filling:

3 strips bacon, fried and chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup cherry filling
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded.   (I used a good cheese)
1 TBS Door Country Mustard

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 (this is for gluten free dough).  (If using regular wheat dough 350 degrees)
2.  In medium size bowl mix all ingredients.  Place approx. 1/2 tsp in center of each piece of dough in cupcake well.
3.  Bake for approx. 20 or until starts to brown.
4.  Let cool.  Cover top with powdered sugar.  Serve with a cup of your favorite Door Country Coffee.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Linda's Pimento Spread



1 jar (4 oz) pimento, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
5 bacon strips, fried (broken into pieces)
salt and pepper, to taste


Directions:

1.  Drain pimentos and chop.
2.  Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl, except bacon.  Mix well.
3.  Place into smaller serving bow.  Add bacon pieces on top.

Note:  If chilling to use later, reserve adding bacon until ready to use.  Bacon is best warm and fresh.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pecorino Romano Pasta




1 lbs spaghetti, cooked
1/4 lb pancetta, sautéed (put aside and chopped)
2 cups chicken broth, warm
3 TBS butter
1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (reserve some to garnish)
1/4 cup basil (reserve some for garnish)
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 coarse black pepper,  or to taste
4 eggs, plus one per serving

Directions:
1.  In large pot on high, heat water for pasta.  Cook al dente.  Drain
2.  In medium size skillet sauté pancetta.  Remove from heat chop.  Reserve grease.
3.  After draining pasta use same pan to heat broth.  Add butter, cheese, basil, salt, pepper and 4 eggs.  Whisk and cook eggs.  Add spaghetti back into pan and toss.  Add most of the pancetta, reserving some for garnish.
4.  Fried one egg per person in skillet with pancetta grease.  (you can strain grease to remove dark bits).  Toss remaining grease into pasta.
5.  Plate spaghetti into plate.  Top with extra pancetta, cheese and basil and one egg.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Zucchini Oat Waffles


Oatmeal Zucchini Waffles

2 cups ground oats
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 stick melted butter
1 1/2 cups vanilla creamer
2 cups shredded zucchini



Directions: 
1.  In food processor add oats.  Pulse until ground well.
2.  In large bowl add oats, baking powder, allspice, salt and sugar.  Mix well. 
3.  In separate bowl add beaten eggs, butter, creamer and zucchini.  Mix well.
4.  In small non stick waffle iron, heat according to directions.  Pour about 1/2 cup batter into center of iron.  Cook until starts to brown.  Flip and cook opposite side.  (approx. 1-1 1/2 mins on each side).   Repeat step 3 for each waffle.  Cover to keep warm
5.  Top with favorite style eggs 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Dip



12 oz pasta, cooked and drained
1 stick butter
12 oz  left over cooked chicken, chopped fine (breast or dark meat)
14.5 oz  Glory Collard Greens (lower sodium), drained
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
1 bag corn chips

Directions:
1.  Drain collard greens well
2.  Fill medium size sauce pan with water.  Heat on high until it boils.  Add pasta, stir and cook until pasta is done.  Drain
3.  In large skillet heat butter on med heat until melted
4.  Add cooked chicken and drained collard greens, stir.  Heat for 2 mins
5.  Add cream cheese, cheddar and buffalo sauce.  Stir until cheeses are completely melted and ingredients are all incorporated. 
6.  Add cooked pasta to skillet, stir.  Add to serving bowl.  Serve with corn chips.

Serves 4-6


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chocolate Mocha Mousse


I was a finalist in the Door Country Cooking Contest.  I entered my Tiramisu Chicken Recipe.  Now, I am receiving 6 months of free coffee...yippie!!!!  Now, what to do with all this coffee I will be receiving?  Yes, I can drink it...that is a "no brainer".   But I decided "lets have some fun".  That is when I decided to create something yummy.  Since I have tons of chocolate from my chocolate business, lets incorporate the two.  This is what I came up with.
 
 
Chocolate Mocha Mousse
 
 
This is what you will need:
 
12 ounces high quality chocolate

4 eggs, room temp
2 tsp pure vanilla
3 tsp agave nectar
pinch of salt
8 ounces strong brewed coffee, hot

Directions:

1.  In food processor, chop chocolate to fine consistency.
2.  Add eggs, blend well.
3.  Add vanilla, agave and salt.  Blend
4.  While blending, pour in hot coffee. 
5.  Pour into individual serving cups or medium size bowl. 
6.  Chill for 4 hours or until firm.
7.  Serve with whipped cream, fruit and/or chocolate covered espresso beans.  (optional)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Potato Oatmeal Cakes with Sea Salted Cilantro Grilled Shrimp

 
 

Like any normal day for me I wanted to create a new and exciting dish for dinner.  Usually, I create dishes that would be incorporated around ingredients used for a recipe contest.  I had just read about a potato contest that I wanted to enter.  The prize was a free trip to the Orlando Food and Wine Bloggers Convention. 
 
While sitting there munching on a tiny bowl of leftover mash from last Sunday night's dinner, I allowed my mind to work.  I thought.....how comforting not only to eat Idaho potatoes but now I get to create another great comforting Idaho potato recipe. 

I went to my frig and stood there like always, to study what ingredients I had.  I see sitting there a baggy of chopped onions, celery and peppers.  See, last night my Son was in the kitchen chopping veggies.  I asked him what he was doing since he is hardly ever in the kitchen cooking or prepping anything.  He said he was chopping veggies for breakfast in the morning.  Okay, so I figured he was going to make himself an omelet before he took off for work.  I don't know if he ever did use any of the contents, since I wasn't up when he left.  But I certainly did not see any signs of any dirty dishes or skillets hanging around either.  I am not sure about your house but in my house it is very hard to get anyone to pick up after themselves.  Anyway, what a huge advantage for me at this point.  What a huge time saver.  I don't have to chop veggies.
 
Right away I came up with the idea of making potato oatmeal cakes.  I knew I had some leftover ground oats from a previous contest that I wanted to use up.  This recipe was tasting wonder on my taste buds.  I couldn't wait to throw it together.  I remember wining second place in another potato contest using fresh lime and cilantro.  Wow, this would be a nice touch also. 
 
But wait!!!  It needed something else.  We just cant' have potato cakes thrown on a plate....No!  It had to be pretty, creative...but simple~
 
Shrimp......Yes!!!!  Ugh, I thought!!!  Frozen!!!! 
 Hey, no problem!!!!
 
 
With a little thawing in water, a little mixing, a little sautéing, I came up with the most delicious dish.
 
Now, I wonder if my Son will notice some of his chopped veggies missing?





Ingredients:

Olive oil for skillet
1/2 cup (combined) onions, celery, red bell, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 TBS butter
1/4 cup ground oats
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lime zest (reserve some for garnish) (reserve juice)
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes (I use Idaho red potatoes)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped and divided in half
1 cup seasoned panko crumbs ( I use gluten free), plus 1/4 cup
1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)
sea salt
coarse black pepper
1 cup sour cream



Directions:

1.  In medium nonstick skillet add approx. 2 TBS oil.  Heat on med/high.  Add onion, celery and peppers.  Sautee until soft.  Add garlic, sautee for additional min.  Season with salt and pepper
2.  Add 1 TBS butter to skillet to melt.  Add oats and stir to slightly brown (approx. 2 mins.)
3.  Add water and stir until water is cooked out.  Add lime zest stir.  Remove from heat.
4.  In large bowl add leftover potatoes.  Stir in 1 egg, 1/2 of the cilantro and panko crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well.
5.  Mold mixture into even size patties (approx. 8).
6.  Re-heat skillet to med/high.  Add approx. 4 TBS oil.  Add molded patties (4 at a time).  Brown approx. 4 mins each side.  Repeat process for additional patties.  Remove and cover until ready to eat.
7.  To small skillet heat 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS oil.  Add shrimp.  Sautee until turns pink.  Serve shrimp on top of potato/oat cakes.  Drizzle lime juice on top, extra lime zest and fresh cilantro.  Season with sea salt and dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Grill



Ingredients:

Cooking oil for frying
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 small slices bread, slightly toasted
1/2 cup pimento spread (store bought)
20 bacon strips (long strips work best)
sea salt and coarse black pepper, to taste
4 Bibb lettuce leaves


Directions:

1.  Heat oil in large skillet (med/high)
2.  Add cornmeal to small bowl.  Add half the flour to bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir
3.  Add remaining 1/2 cup flour to another bowl.
4.  Add egg to separate bowl, beat.
5.  Slice tomatoes.  Dredge into flour, then into buttermilk then into cornmeal mixture.
6.  Place into hot skillet with oil.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Fry on both sides (approx. 2 mins each side) until brown.  Drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
7.  Spread pimento spread onto one side of each slice of bread.
8.  Place about 4 slices of fried tomatoes onto each sandwich.  Seal with remaining slice of bread.
9.  Wrap approx. 5 slices of bacon around each sandwich, tucking edges to seal.  Be careful not to overlap more than twice in one area because bacon will not cook.
10.  Preheat oven to 375.  Place sandwiches on wire rack inside baking dish.  Bake in oven until brown.  Approx. 20-25 mins., depending on oven.
11.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 mins before slicing.  Serve on slice of bibb lettuce.

Bacon Wrapped Pu Pu Platter


Ingredients:

1/4 pound ground beef-rolled into 6 meatballs
2 mozzarella sticks, cut into 6 - 1/2 inch pieces
1-2 pork chop, boneless, cut into 6 strips
1 large chicken breast, boneless-cut into 6 strips
1-2 pieces grouper (or other white fish), cut into 6 slices
6 frozen steak fries, thawed (I use Ore-Ida which is gluten free)
15 slices bacon, sliced in half
1 bottle bbq sauce ( I like Outta the Park BBQ Sauce, Hot and Spicy)
1 Pineapple, cut into chunks

Directions:

1.  Season all meat with salt and pepper
2.  Place one each of cheese in center of meatball, completely enclosing. 
3.  Wrap 1/2 slice bacon around each ingredient.  Secure with skewer
4.  Place on non-stick plate on grill. (med/high).  Rotate and brown all sides.  Make sure to keep each different ingredient separated from the others.  Approx. 5- 10 mins each side.  (keep in mind...fish will not take as long to grill)
5.  Brush all sides with bbq sauce.  Grill to caramelize.  Remove from heat when done.  Place in serving platter, separating each different variety.
6.  Assemble pineapple skewers by adding 6-8 chunks per skewer.  Place pineapple skewer between different varieties of ingredients to distinguish them being different.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Let's Eat 'a Mezzetta Turkey Ring Bada Bing




1 lb fresh pizza/bread dough
6 tsps Mezzetta horseradish cream style sauce
6 tsps Mezzetta kalamata olive sandwich spread
6 thick slices turkey breast
6 thick slices provolone cheese
6 slices cucumber
6 slices thin red onion
1 large piece Mezzetta roasted red bell pepper, sliced into pieces
2 Mezzetta whole sweet banana wax peppers, sliced
6 sprigs cilantro, fresh
6 tsps Mezzetta imported olive oil
1/2 lemon, fresh
 black pepper and sea salt, to taste


1.  Take pizza/bread dough and separate into 6 rolls.  Roll into balls.  Place into greased and floured bundt pan.  Let rise to double in size.  Bake 350 degrees until brown, about 20 mins.  Let cool.  Slice in half.  Or use store bought bread ring.
2.  Spread horseradish on one half, and kalamata spread on other half.
3.  Layer turkey, provolone, cucumber, onion, peppers, cilantro on top of bottom half of bread   ring.
4.  Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze fresh lemon juice then sprinkle with pepper and salt, to taste.
5.  Gently place top half on top of layered sandwich, matching up to original rolls.

Herbes de Provence



  • 4 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 3 Tbsp dried marjoram
  • 3 Tbsp dried summer savory
  • 2 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp dried tarragon
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried chervil or dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried lavender flowers

Mango Date Chipotle Wings



12 whole chicken wings
1 TBS olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 stick butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger root, grated
1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 cup dates, chopped
1 cup mango
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 TBS lime zest, plus 2 TBS lime juice
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1 cup blue cheese dressing
1 bunch celery, sliced into 4 inch pieces

1.  Heat Grill to med/high.  Grease grill with olive oil
2.  Brush chicken with olive oil, completely covering.  Place chicken on grill.  Season with salt.  Grill for 10-12  mins on each side
3.  On side burner heat medium size skillet.  Add 1 TBS olive oil, butter, garlic, onion, ginger, chipotle (with adobo sauce) and date.  Sautee for 5 mins, stir. 
4.  Add mango, cilantro, lime zest and lime juice.  Season with salt, to taste.  Cook until mango gets soft.  Puree in food processor.  Add puree into medium size bowl.
5.  At grill with tongs, dredge each piece of chicken into mango puree, completely covering.  Add back to grill.  Repeat process for each piece of chicken.  Grill for 5-6 mins on each side or cooked and nicely browned.
6.  Serve with extra sauce, blue cheese dressing and celery sticks

Makes 4-6 servings.


Date Fish Cakes with Mango Horseradish



1 cup seasoned stuffing mix, slightly crushed (slightly moistened with water)
1 lb fresh tilapia, cubed
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup red onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 TBS horseradish,
1 lemon, zested
2 TBS dates, chopped,
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp coarse pepper, or to taste

Directions:

1.  In large bowl add stuffing mix.  Moisten slightly with water, toss. 
2.  Add cubed tilapia, 1 beaten egg, cilantro, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, horseradish, lemon zest, dates, salt and pepper to taste.  Fold all ingredients together.  Mold into patties.
3.  Heat grill on med/high heat.  Grease grill to prevent cakes from sticking.  Grill on both sides until done.  Aprox. 4-5 mins on each side.
4.  To make mango horseradish:  Add all ingredients to side burner in medium size sauce pan.  Sautee for 10 mins or until veggies are soft.  Add contents to food processor or blender to puree.  Serve with cakes on plate.  Makes 6-8 cakes.  Serve with extra mango pieces on top. Garnish with extra cilantro.

Mango Horseradish:

2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
1 cup mango
2 tsp horseradish
2 TBS dates
1/4 cup red bell pepper
2 TBS red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice from lemon
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp course black pepper, or to taste

Sweet Fire Roasted Chili Zucchini Pickles


Sweet Chipotle Pickled Cucumbers

2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup white sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tsp pickling spice
4 tsp  chili peppers
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
6 cilantro sprigs, or other herb

 Directions:

 1.  In medium size sauce pan add vinegar, sugar, garlic, pickling spice, peppers, salt and pepper.  Heat on medium heat to dissolve sugar.
2.  Slice zucchini  lengthwise using vegetable peeler, making long strips.  Yield 2-3 cups
3.  Peel and slice onion into rings.  Separate into individual rings.
4.  Add cucumber, onion slices and cilantro sprigs to hot vinegar mixture.  Stir.  Remove off burner and put aside.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chipotle Cucumber Pickles




Sweet Chipotle Pickled Cucumbers
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp pickling spice
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 unseeded (English) cucumber, sliced lengthwise
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
6 cilantro sprigs

Directions for Pickled Cucumbers:
1.  In medium size sauce pan add vinegar, sugar, garlic, pickling spice, peppers, salt and pepper.  Heat on medium heat to dissolve sugar.
2.  Slice cucumber in half.  Wrap and save half in refrigerator.  Slice cucumber lengthwise using vegetable peeler, making long strips.  Yield 2-3 cups
3.  Peel and slice onion into rings.  Separate into individual rings.
4.  Add cucumber, onion slices and cilantro sprigs to hot vinegar mixture.  Stir.  Remove off burner and put aside.

Zucchini Oatmeal Waffles



1 1/2 Gluten Free Flour (or other all purpose flour)
1 cup oats
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 stick melted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus extra
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini



Directions: 

1.  In large bowl add flour, oats, baking powder, allspice, salt and sugar.  Mix well. 
2.  In separate bowl add beaten eggs.  Add butter, buttermilk, vanilla and zucchini.  Mix well.
3.  In small non stick waffle iron, heat on medium heat.  Pour about 1/2 cup batter into center of iron.  Cook until starts to brown.  Flip and cook opposite side.  (approx. 1-1 1/2 mins on each side).   Repeat step 4 for each waffle.  Cover to keep warm
5.  Top with favorite fruit or filling. 

Makes about 8 waffles

Zucchini Oats Buttermilk Pancakes and Peaches in Rum Sauce




Pancake Batter:

1 1/2 Gluten Free Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour
1 cup ground Bob's Red Mill Steal Oats, ground
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 stick melted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus extra
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup sour cream, room temp.

Peach Syrup:
3 TBS butter
4 fresh peaches, sliced
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS dark rum, optional
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla

Directions: 

1.  In large bowl add flour, oats, baking powder, allspice, salt and sugar.  Mix well. 
2.  In separate bowl add beaten eggs.  Add butter, buttermilk, vanilla and zucchini.  Mix well.
3.  In medium skillet add butter, peaches, brown sugar, rum and salt.  Simmer on low heat, stirring every few minutes.  Simmer until peaches are cooked.  Add allspice and vanilla, stir.  Put aside until ready to fill into pancakes.
4.  In small non stick skillet heat on medium heat (sprayed with cooking spray).  Pour about 1/2 cup batter into center of pan.  Swirl pan around to thin out pancake.  Cook until starts to brown.  Flip and cook opposite side.  (approx. 1-1 1/2 mins on each side).  Reduce heat, if need to.  Repeat step 4 for each pancake.  Cover to keep warm
5.  Fill each pancake with peaches (approx. 1/4 cup) and 2 TBS sour cream.  Drizzle any juice over top of each pancake. 

Makes approx. 8 pancakes.  Serves 4

Monday, June 9, 2014

Grilled Chicken Marsala Onion Soup




I needed to create a recipe for a contest using Tyson Grilled Chicken.  When I opened the package the little chicken chunks reminded me of over sized croutons.  Then it hit me!!!  French onion soup......but without the croutons.  I'll use chicken chunks instead.  How much more healthier it would be also!!! 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
4 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced into thin rings
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp coarse black pepper, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, reserve some for garnish 
1 bay leaf
2 TBS flour
1/4 cup marsala wine
32 ounces beef broth, low sodium
8 ounces Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Chunks
4 thin slices Swiss Cheese
 
 
Directions:
 
1.  In medium size pan add butter and oil.  Heat on medium temperature until butter melts. 
2.  Add sliced onions, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and bay leaf.  Stir.  Cook until onions become soft.
3.  Add flour, stir.  Cook for 5 minutes more. 
4.  Deglaze pan with marsala wine, stir. 
5.  Add beef broth.  Simmer for additional 15 mins.  Remove bay leaf.
6.  Preheat broiler
7.  Add onion broth to four individual baking dishes/bowls.  Place bowls on flat baking sheet.
8.  Add 2 ounces of chicken chunks to each individual bowl.  Top with one slice Swiss cheese.  Sprinkle additional chopped parsley to top of cheese for color.
9.  Add to broiler.  Allow for cheese to melt and slightly brown.  Approx. 5 mins. 
 
Makes 4 servings.
 
  

Gluten Free Pears Foster Waffles




4 TBS butter
3/4 tsp corn starch
3 TBS brown sugar
1 large can (halved) pears, juice reserved
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
5 ounces cream brie
8 waffles, toasted
whipping cream

1.  In large skillet on med heat add butter, corn starch and brown sugar until sugar dissolves (approx. 5 mins).  Mix thoroughly. 
2.  Add juice from pears (reserve pears), cinnamon, vanilla and walnuts.  Stir, lower heat and simmer until starts to thicken (approx. 10 mins).  Add pears.  Simmer for additional few minutes to re-thicken.
3.  Add pears, brie cheese and sauce to top of toasted waffles.  Serve with whipping cream.

Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Feta Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Pickled Cucumbers



This is my super moist Feta Turkey Burger.  How did I keep it moist?  Good question....
Some time ago I had realized that making turkey burgers they can become very dry, especially if you over cook them.  I quickly learned that by adding chopped mushrooms to the ground meat keeps them super moist.  There is another benefit also.  By adding chopped mushrooms it also stretches the meat further giving you more quantity and making them more healthier by adding more veggies into your diet.  Shhhhh!  Don't tell the kids though!!!!  The homemade chipotle pickled cucumbers and lemony cilantro mayo dressing make a great additional kick and zing for a well balanced burger.



Burger mixture:
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
4 ounces feta cheese crumbles (reserve 1 ounce for garnish)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 lemon, juiced (reserve zest for dressing)
favorite burger buns, (buttered and toasted, optional)
lettuce and tomato, optional

Burger Directions:
1.  In large bowl add all ingredients.  Gently toss and incorporate all ingredients.  Put aside
2.  Heat grill to med/high heat.  Grease grill to prevent burgers from sticking.
3.  Mold into burgers.  Cook burgers for approx. 4-5 mins on each side, or until done.  Remove and cover to keep warm.  Makes approx. 6 large burgers


Sweet Chipotle Pickled Cucumbers
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp pickling spice
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 unseeded (English) cucumber, sliced lengthwise
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
6 cilantro sprigs

Directions for Pickled Cucumbers:
1.  In medium size sauce pan add vinegar, sugar, garlic, pickling spice, peppers, salt and pepper.  Heat on medium heat to dissolve sugar.
2.  Slice cucumber in half.  Wrap and save half in refrigerator.  Slice cucumber lengthwise using vegetable peeler, making long strips.  Yield 2-3 cups
3.  Peel and slice onion into rings.  Separate into individual rings.
4.  Add cucumber, onion slices and cilantro sprigs to hot vinegar mixture.  Stir.  Remove off burner and put aside.


Lemon/Cilantro Mayo:
3/4 cup mayo
zest from lemon
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS white sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:  Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Chill until ready to use.

Note:  Assemble burger as preferred. 



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homemade Ricotta Cheese






2 cups heavy cream
4 cups pasteurized whole milk
1 tsp salt
3 TBS white wine vinegar
cheese cloth

Directions:

1.  Pour cream and milk into stainless steel pot.  Add salt.  Stir  Heat on medium until starts to boil.  Stir occasionally.  Important that milk does not burn at bottom of pot.

2.  After it reaches boiling point take off burner.  Stir in vinegar.  Let sit for approx. 1 min.  You will see it start to curdle.  Pour into cheese cloth and let drain approx. 20 mins.

Note:  I did not have cheese cloth.  I lined a large pasta strainer with coffee filters.  I poured curdles in and let sit.  I later transferred to bowl lined with paper towels to remove excess moisture. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chipotle Lemon Tuna Macaroni Salad


Ingredients:

1 lb pasta, cooked
2 cans albacore tuna, in water, drained
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups cooked fresh peas
2 cups mayo
3 TBS fresh lemon, plus 1 TBS lemon zest
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp coriander
4 TBS grated cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, fine chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


Directions:

1.  Cook pasta until done.  al dente
2.  Add all other ingredients to large mixing bowl.  Mix well. 
3.  Add drained pasta to dressing mix.  Mix well.  Chill for 3-4 hours before serving

Serves up to 8 people

Friday, May 16, 2014

Orange Zested Corn Cobs



6 ears of corn
3 TBS melted butter
1 orange and zest
2 TBS paprika
Sea salt and course black pepper, to taste
1/8 cup fresh parsley

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place corn in large baking dish
3.  Pour melted butter over top of corn.  Roll corn around into butter to cover.
4.  Add juice from 1 large ripe orange. Including chunks, cut up. (reserve zest), paprika, salt and pepper.
5.  Bake in oven 30 mins.  Remove and sprinkle with zest and fresh parsley.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese with Cilantro Mayo



8 slices Italian Bread cut approx. 1/2 inch thick
8 slices pepper jack cheese, folded in half
4 large slices fresh tomatoes, sliced approx. 1/8 inch thick
1 lb bacon (longer strips works best)
4 pieces lettuce leaves
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:

1.  Lay out four pieces of Italian bread.  Spread with sauce.
2.  Layer folded piece of pepper jack cheese, slice of tomato then remaining slice of pepper jack cheese.  Top with remaining slice of bread.
3.  Take bacon strips and wrap around sandwich, completely covering and tucking in edges.  Each sandwich will use approx. 5-6 slices of bacon.
4.  Place sandwiches carefully in heated skillet.  Grill until brown.  With tongs, flip and grill opposite side.  Stand sandwiches on sides and grill on all sides until brown.  Repeat process until sandwich is completely brown and crispy.  If sandwich does not sit by itself, sandwiches can rest against another for support.
5.  Place on paper towel sheets to absorb excess grease.
6.  Cut in half and place in center of lettuce leaf to serve.
Makes 4 sandwiches

To make sauce:  Mix together mayo and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Three Cheese Cinnamon Grilled Dunkers



8 slices whole grain bread
1 stick butter
3 TBS cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brie cheese, softened
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 TBS milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1.  Butter one side of each slice of bread.
2.  Mix together cinnamon and white sugar in bowl.  Sprinkle on top of buttered slices
3.  Place four slices, buttered side down in large heated skillet. Leave remaining buttered sliced aside.
4.  Spread brie cheese on top of slices in skillet
5.  Spread cream cheese on top of brie cheese.  Or drop by spoonful.  Then add cheddar cheese.
6.  Seal with remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.
7.  Grill until toasted on one side.  Flip and grill remaining side.   Slice into quarters
8.  Mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together to make dipping sauce.  Serve with quarters.
Makes 4 Grilled Cheese sandwiches.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Pepperjack Grilled Cheese




8 slices Italian bread (day old works good)
16 slices bacon, approx. 1 lb
8 slices pepperjack cheese
2 TBS butter
2 TBS olive oil

Directions:

1.  Fold cheese slices in half.  Place two pieces each between two slices of bread...making 4 sandwiches.
2.  Wrap 4 slices of bacon around each sandwich.  Start with wrapping one slice length wise, then wrap the other 3 pieces to cover entire sandwich.  Tuck ends to seal.
3.  Heat butter and oil in large skillet.  Grill until crispy on both sides.  Once both sides are crispy stand the sandwiches up along the edges with tongs.  They should be stiff enough to stand alone.  If not, you can stand them up and rest them against each other.  Keep rotating until all edges are crispy.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Seasoned Fried Mozzarella Grilled Cheese




8 slices of potato bread
1/2 cup mayo for spreading
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 equal slices
1 cup favorite marinara or pizza sauce

Directions:

1.  Spread mayo on one side of each slice of bread.
2.  Spread bread crumbs into flat dish.  Dip each slice (mayo side) down into crumbs.
3.  Heat large skillet on med/high.  Place four slices, mayo side down into non-stick skillet.  Place one slice of mozzarella cheese on top.  Then add additional slice of bread to top (mayo side up).
4.  Grill until toasted.  Flip and grill other side.
5.  Slice in half or quarters.  Serve with favorite sauce.

Grilled Brie Cheese Pears Foster




4 TBS butter, plus extra for spreading
1/2 - 1 tsp corn starch
2 TBS brown sugar
1 large can sliced pears, juice reserved
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS rum
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
salt, to taste
8 slices Potato Bread, each slice buttered on one side
8 ounces brie cheese
whipping cream, optional

Directions:

1.  In medium size skillet on medium heat, add butter, melt.  Add corn starch and brown sugar.  Stir.  When sugar is dissolved add juice from can pears (reserve pears).  Stir.  Add cinnamon, vanilla, rum, walnuts and salt to taste.  Lower temperature and simmer until starts to thicken.  Add pears, stir to re-thicken.  Remove from heat.
2.  In separate skillet add four slices of buttered bread (buttered side down).  Add pears to top of bread slices.  Next add about 2 ounces of brie cheese to top of pears.  Cover and seal with additional slices of bread (buttered side up).
3.  Grill until toasted.  Flip carefully and grill opposite side.  Remove from pan.
4.  Top each grilled cheese sandwich with remaining sauce.
Note:  Grilled cheese can also be topped with whipped cream for a dessert twist.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Crusted Parmesan Italian Bagel




4 plain bagels, sliced in half
1 stick butter
8 slices roast beef
8 slices prosciutto
8 slices soppressata
8 slices mortadella
8 slices fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (for topping and pesto)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
4 TBS olive oil
2 TBS capers
3 large basil leaves
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.  In large skillet, coat heavily with cooking spray.  Heat on me/high heat.
2.  Butter outside of bagel slices.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Reserving 2 TBS for pesto.  Place buttered side down in skillet.
3.  Place slice of mozzarella on each slice then two each of the other meats.  End with another slice of mozzarella on top.  Place other bagel slice on top, buttered side up.  Grill until browned and crusted.  Flip.
4.  Grill other side until browned and crusted.  Removed from pan.
5.  In food processor add olive oil, capers, basil, garlic and 2 TBS grated cheese.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Puree.
6.  Gently remove top slice and add marinara and pesto.  Sprinkle with any additional parmesan cheese.  Serve on bed of green leaf lettuce.  Makes 4 sandwiches


Galumpki Burger



Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey or chicken
1 cup cooked white rice, cool
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 ozs shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sliced cabbage
1/2 cup sliced onion
hamburger buns

Directions:
1.  In large mixing bowl add ground meat, rice, parsley, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.  Mix thoroughly until completed blended.
2.  Mold into individual burgers.
3.  In skillet or grill cook burgers until done.  Cover when done.
4.  In skillet add 3 Tbs fry oil, heat
5.  Add cabbage and onion, season with salt and pepper.  Saute until soft.
6.  Add burger to bun and top with cabbage mixture and serve.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Livers and dates with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze





1 lb chicken livers, drained (approx. 20 pieces)
12 ozs bacon, sliced in half
1 cup dates, (approx. 10 ct) sliced in half lengthwise
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 stick melted butter, plus 1 TBS
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBS brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
4 ozs goat cheese crumbles
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 bag Dole Classic Romaine Lettuce
20 toothpicks

Directions:

1.  Heat grill to medium/high.
2.  Drain chicken livers, trim and place in bowl.
3.  Slice bacon in half, making smaller slices.  Put aside.
4.  Slice dates, lengthwise.  Put side
5.  Melt butter.  Put aside
6.  To assemble:  Lay bacon slice down on flat surface.  Place chicken liver on top of bacon.  Place sliced date on top of chicken liver.  Wrap bacon around until it overlaps.  Secure with toothpick.  Brush with melted butter.  Spoon bread crumbs, slightly covering.  Repeat process for remaining chicken liver wraps.  Season with salt and pepper.
7.  Place on grill.  Grill on all side until bacon is crispy.  Remove from grill.  Approx. 20 mins.
8.  On side burner of grill heat (medium/high) balsamic vinegar, sugar and 1 TBS butter until reduced in half.  Season with salt and pepper.  Texture should be slightly thickened.  (approx. 10-15 mins).
9.  Serve chicken livers on bed of salad greens, drizzled with balsamic glaze and goat cheese.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serves 4-6

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Unstuffed Lamb Cabbage Rolls





1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1.5 lbs ground lamb
1 can seasoned diced tomatoes
2 cans Glory Southern Style country Cabbage 
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
4 cups rice, cooked


Directions:

1.  In large skillet heat oil on medium/high.
2.  Add onions and garlic.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stir.
3.  Add ground lamb, stir.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until meat turns brown.
4.  Add tomatoes and cabbage, stir.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
5.  Add fresh parsley, stir.
6.  Serve with white rice.  Top with additional fresh parsley
Serves 4-6 people